This came to mind as I read today two very different presentations of statistics. First, from Dan Gardner, a columnist I often enjoy to read in the Ottawa Citizen. "Cheer Up", he tells us! "Things aren't nearly as bad as they seem." He then quotes recently published statistics from the United Nations Human Development Report 2010.
"Most people today are healthier, live longer, are more educated and have more access to goods and services. Even in countries facing adverse economic conditions, people's health and education have greatly improved. And there has been progress not only in improving health and education and raising income, but also in expanding people's power to select leaders, influence public decisions, and share knowledge."